In this post. Well, mostly nevermind. Mostly. As the way things are going now, you really can get a domain taken away from you, if you are known to have Very Bad Ideas™ and incite violence. Most of you that read this won’t need to worry about that since my readership aren’t of that stock (that I know of), but folks who have the ear of powerful people can be very touchy these days, and it’s getting to be that expressing the Very Bad Ideas™ will be synonymous with inciting violence. You’re far less likely to be deplatformed if you incite violence but think Very Approved Ideas™. Humans are excellent at rationalizing a special plead deal with the unwavering gods of logic when it comes to the behavior of their in-group.
Some quick ideas. At the very least, if you’re neck-deep in Google’s services, schedule backups every now and then with Google Takeout, and store the archives locally, or on Dropbox or your hosting (not on Google Drive, obviously). Register a non-Google email address, like at Protonmail, and maybe one that doesn’t identify you personally. Use Firefox or a Gecko-based browser, or Tor, for browsing. Use Startpage or DuckDuckGo for searches. Buy another domain and, like your email address, keep it non-identifiable back to you.
After upgrading to Windows 10, I saw that the Mozilla Manifesto was directly linked from the Firefox’s default “new tab” screen (for the record, I’m a Chrome guy). With Mozilla’s recent dalliances with progressive politics, I wanted to see if it infected their official statement of purpose. It mostly didn’t, thankfully, but it is rather open-ended and is poised to cause confusion.
To wit, here are the ten principals of their manifesto:
1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life—a key component in education, communication, collaboration, business, entertainment and society as a whole.
Not really a principle, per se, but a proposition—a generally true one. I think of manifestos as very specific “we’re doing x to achieve y goal” documents.
2. The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible.
Generally agreeable, but redundant. The Internet is essentially made for information access and sharing. Calling for it to be open is like advising shoes to be used for feet. The purpose is already built in. But why do they get to decide how “open and accessible” it should be? I’d reserve that right to the individual actors to decide, but again…people don’t interact with the Internet in order to be closed off.
This is also the first mention of 5 “public” adjectives. I’ll get to that later.
3. The Internet must enrich the lives of individual human beings.
Another redundancy, albeit very subjective. “Enrich” to me is different from “enrich” to Steve or Shelley. People don’t really need to be directed to enrich themselves. We do it automatically, and there’s endless of sources of enrichment on the Internet. Kind of a no-brainer.
4. Individuals’ security and privacy on the Internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional.
Nothing bad here, just a little redundant, as security and privacy are self-evident goods that fall in various slots in indivduals’ hierarchy of preferences. They seem to be implying security and privacy are at risk without a user’s knowledge of consent, which is true.
5. Individuals must have the ability to shape the Internet and their own experiences on the Internet.
Also agreeable. There’s lots of different ways one can customize Internet information. Plus, there’s the whole “I go to the URLs I want to, and ones I don’t want to” aspect. It’s a free for all, already. Go get it!
6. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.
7. Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource.
8. Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability and trust.
More propositions, not principles. Mostly true ones, and two more “public” mentions.
9. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial profit and public benefit is critical.
Here’s the big one. I could go into a lot of detail about this, but the summary is just basic economics. They perceive a discrepancy between demand vs. what is being delivered, and that corporations (I’m sure they have telecom industries in mind here) should be forced to give in to demand. That’s all agreeable, but
corporations firms in a free to free-ish market must give in to consumer demand. There’s no other way they would survive. Though telecom is one of the least directly regulated industries, corporations still enjoy some state monopoly powers; they can get away with avoiding demand or raising prices without an attendant increase in service, since they can buy immunity from legislative power, which then falls on those not able to buy those “get out of jail” cards., i.e., smaller companies. #9 would be irrelevant if there was no market interference.
10. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.
Again, all well and good. And again, there would be little need to stress public (consumer) benefit sans market interference, since
corporations firms would already be slave to the dollar holders and not legislators.